Komatsu Cummins Chile partnered with Codelco to trial Komatsu’s new Mining Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in 2024 at Chuquicamata mine in Chile.

The electric Mining TBM breaks rock with disc cutters and discharges it backwards with belt conveyors. The new model is designed to bore curves and intersections, goes in reverse, and has a minimal carbon footprint. Previous models could mostly only bore straight tunnels.

Since 1963, Komatsu has introduced more than 2,300 TBMs.

The new model aligns with the OEM’s slogan of “No Blasting, No Batch, No Diesel.” The Mining TBM embodies “this forward-looking approach and can help customers improve safety, environmental friendliness, and productivity at underground mines,” Komatsu said. “It will also help them achieve a revolution in their mining operations.”

Separately, Komatsu and Cummins signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on hydrogen fuel cell solutions for large haul trucks as part of a broader partnership to develop zero-emissions haulage equipment.

The MOU comes roughly a year after Komatsu announced its power-agnostic truck concept. The haul truck can run on a variety of power sources, including diesel, electric, trolley, battery power, and hydrogen fuel cells. The partnership will advance the development of related solutions, Cummins said.

“Komatsu’s deep expertise in mining and equipment design and integration paired with our advanced power technologies including hydrogen fuel cells will accelerate decarbonization of mining equipment,” said Amy Davis, president of new power at Cummins. “The mining industry has great potential to lead in adopting renewable solutions.”

A long-term partner of Komatsu, Cummins has a broad portfolio of batteries, fuel cell systems and electrolyzers for generating hydrogen, which will help the partners accelerate development of sustainable solutions, Komatsu said. “These are critical technologies for helping mining customers reduce carbon emissions and accelerate carbon neutrality,” said Masayuki Moriyama, president of Komatsu’s Mining Business Division.